Goodbyes are extremely hard. I don't care if your goodbye is for a Soldier going off to war, if your child is going off to college, if you have a friend moving, if your husband is traveling for a few days, or if you have lost a dear person in your life. Goodbyes whether short term or long term, are just painful. I say this because as I go through my day to day life, I realize that I deeply avoid goodbyes. I actually LOVE to say, "Till we see each other again!" Many times in my life I have found myself knee deep in the river of DENIAL! Meaning I really don't want to even think about the goodbye that is coming, or just happened, etc. For me that is my best coping skill. And one that I believe truly and emotionally let's me survive the goodbyes time and time again.
You see I am a military wife of 20 plus years. I have college age kids. And I move away from friends (or they move away from me) almost yearly! I haven't lived in my home state with family for at least the last 20 years. So honestly I find myself with a goodbye to give every time I turn around. They aren't easy, and I really don't rate them as one is easier than another. And truly no matter how seasoned you are at them, they really don't get easier. BUT with all that said, I do truly believe that we can survive them without losing our minds. And here is my wisdom of how I manage. (Let me just say, I do not believe I have it all figured out, I just have survived. I am sure that a therapist somewhere would tell me that I have issues. I am sharing this in hopes that others see an easier way to survive, or just know that they are normal! Oh that dreaded word normal [sigh]....that is for another blog!)
- Live in the Moment - I find that no matter whether it is a normal day, a day of a goodbye or even a sad day after a goodbye, I try everything possible to enjoy the here and now. Meaning that there is always something positive in every single day. I challenge you to find that positive. It can be as simple as we are healthy and still alive. If we dwell in the negative, life would never seem worth living. Which leads me to...
- Be Positive - "The cup is always half full" in my mind. I know being positive can be hard at times, but I believe that is a choice we make. Chose to be positive and find the positive in every situation. Even if to be positive you have to deny what tomorrow may bring....remember "Live in the Moment!"
- Denial - Yes I said it. The best way for ME to get through a goodbye is to treat it like it is any other day. The less of a big event I make it the less of an impact it has on my emotional well being. Plus it isn't the memories I want to take with me. I want to remember happy times in my life and the less dramatic the goodbyes are the less memorable they are!!! (OK, confession....I went looking for "goodbye" type photos for dramatic impact for this topic, and couldn't find any....because it is not a day in my life that I chose to make memories of....so all my heart wrenching photos you see in today's blog are actually from very emotional "Welcome Home's"....which can be just as emotional, but definitely more memorable for me!)
- Camaraderie - Find a battle buddy to lean on to get through those tougher days. Sometimes it is finding the person who will say "Wow today sucks, let's go have fun!" Or the person who you can share the emotions you are feeling, just to get it out. But just like with any negative situation, don't dwell on it. "Woah is me" dwelling can keep in you the emotional loop you really don't want to be in. Many times it is just having someone near who understands, knows it isn't a great day for you and can still make you smile or laugh. We all need that shoulder to cry on, I just caution you to chose your battle buddy well. I have amazing Battle Buddies. They not only pick me up, but they also kick me in the tail sometimes, which we all need.
- Accept Change - Life is ever changing. We all have seasons in our life, accept the phase you are currently in. Make the best of it and drive on. My biggest and most scary time in my life that I had to "accept the change" was when my husband was deployed for a year and half way through that year, my daughter went to college 800 miles away from home as a freshman. My two rocks in my life were away. It was time to accept the change and drive forward, although neither were gone indefinitely, in the moment it felt like it. I had to embrace that it would be a tough few months and find other rocks to lean on. My family grew and I not only became stronger, but also became even closer with some of my other battle buddies who helped me survive. I chose to find the positive and be better for it. You can too.
- Last but not least....Look to the Future - If the moment stinks, look up and find a place to strive for that won't. And then set goals to make yourself stronger, wiser, or just busy during the time between now and the future!
These are the things that I do that work for me. Everyone is different, every situation is different, but if you truly work toward making sure every moment in your life counts, life will be better.
GodVine shared this photo above on their Facebook page today and I thought it was very appropriate to share with this topic. I just want to send (((HUGS))) to all my friends who have an upcoming "till I see you again" moment coming in their lives. And I really and truly can't wait "till I see you again" for all my friends and family I am currently apart from.
Remember to make memories daily that you always want to remember!